The Truth About Vukmir's Plan for Pre-Existing Condition Coverage

Aug 31, 2018

For Immediate Release
Friday, August 31, 2018
Contact: Brad Bainum, bradb@wisdems.org

The Truth About Leah Vukmir’s Plan for Pre-Existing Condition Coverage

Vukmir’s plan lifted from Koch brothers-backed ALEC

MADISON — Republican U.S. Senate candidate Leah Vukmir is feeling political heat over her support for multiple efforts to gut pre-existing condition protections. 

Now, Vukmir claims she wants to “return to the high-risk coverage pool model Wisconsin employed before Obamacare.” Here is a reminder of what that looked like:

  • “Too Expensive For Many To Afford.” According to the Wisconsin State Journal, “Wisconsin’s high-risk pool system was too expensive for many to afford, left more than half a million state residents uninsured, included a six-month waiting period for coverage of pre-existing conditions and imposed a lifetime coverage cap of $2 million.”
  • Costs That “Were Generally 20% To 30% Higher.” And as the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has reported previously, Wisconsin’s Health Insurance Risk-Sharing Plan only “worked only for people who could afford insurance in the first place,” because high-risk pools were set up in such a way that insurance companies provided coverage for individuals with pre-existing conditions — but only at insurance premium rates that “were generally 20% to 30% higher than the overall market.”
  • “Too Expensive… [Leaving] More Than Half A Million Residents Uninsured.” According to the health policy programs director at UW-Madison’s Population Health Institute, as quoted in the Wisconsin State Journal, “HIRSP was too expensive for many people and left more than half a million residents uninsured.”

Unsurprisingly, ALEC — the corporate special interest group where Vukmir is a national leader, and which is, in part, bankrolled by health insurance companies — promotes a lobbyist-crafted so-called “model policy” for high-risk pools.

“Following her corporate special interest backers from the insurance industry who bankroll ALEC, Leah Vukmir supports multiple efforts to gut protections for millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions and wants to return to the days when predatory insurance companies could jack up rates and price Wisconsinites with pre-existing conditions out of coverage,” said Brad Bainum, Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesperson for the 2018 Senate race.